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What's Cooking? - Posted March 27, 2015 10:44 a.m.
Photos by Shannon Richardson Recipes courtesy of Scott Buchanan, Yellow City Street Food

A Most Egg-cellent Easter

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Easter means eggs – an abundance of them. Depending on your church-attending habits, it may also mean a delicious opportunity for brunch. But why gather with friends and family to celebrate new life if we’re only going to serve the same tired, familiar egg dishes that have populated Panhandle tables for years? For this issue, we asked Scott Buchanan, chef and co-owner of Yellow City Street Food, to resurrect the egg. He came through by suggesting three distinct styles of dishes, including modern, tapas-style Diabolito Eggs (“little devils”) and a whimsical breakfast bruschetta perfect for an upscale bistro. He livens up the down-home, family-style quiche/omelette category with his recipe for chorizo red onion confit frittata with blood orange crema. Your Easter brunch will never be the same.

Diabolito Eggs
6 hard-boiled eggs
1 Fresno chile, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
1 cup simple syrup, reduced
½ pound cream cheese
1/8 cup Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1/8 cup green onion, minced
¼ cup chives, chopped
2 tablespoons honey mustard
¾ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb
1 piping bag with star tip

Bring medium pot of water to boil with eggs in it. Once it reaches a boil, turn off heat. Cover pan. Leave for 11 minutes. While eggs are cooking, make simple syrup. In small sauce pan, combine ½ cup cold water and ½ cup sugar. Cook over medium heat, bringing mixture to a boil. Lower heat to a high simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves completely and mixture is clear, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Pour simple syrup over Fresno chile slices in bowl, making sure they are covered. When eggs are finished, place in bowl of ice water until completely cooled. Carefully peel eggs, and then slice once down middle, lengthwise. Remove yolk. Place yolks in bowl of mixer. Add cream cheese, Sriracha, garlic, green onions, honey mustard, and mayo. Add seasonings to desired taste. Using paddle attachment, mix all together until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture into piping bag. Place boiled egg white halves on a plate and pipe in yolk mixture. Garnish each yolk with a Fresno chile (previously soaked in simple syrup) and chopped chives.

Makes 6 servings

Breakfast Bruschetta
2 slices French or Italian bread
1 egg
4 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced (saving 1 tablespoon for pesto)
1 tablespoon butter, melted and mixed with garlic
¼ cup pecans, roasted
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 red onion, cut into ½-inch strips
1 cup grated Parmesan, reserving ½ cup for pesto
5 golden cherry tomatoes, halved
5 basil leaves (3 will be wilted in cooked vegetable mix, 2 used for plating)
2 cups packed, fresh basil leaves (for pesto)
1 zucchini, cut into ½-inch coin slices
1 yellow squash, cut into ½-inch half-moon slices
White wine
1 cup olive oil (for pesto)
Salt and pepper to taste

Make pecan pesto. Combine pecans, ½ cup Parmesan, 1 tablespoon garlic, and 2 cups packed basil leaves in food processor and pulse until crumbly. Stream in olive oil while pulsing until mixture comes together. Set aside. Drizzle oil in shallow, hot pan. Add sliced zucchini, squash and onions. Add ½ to 1 tablespoon garlic, sprinkle of salt and pepper, and small amount of white wine to pan; sauté until tender. Move vegetables around by giving pan a shake on occasion. Add cherry tomatoes and basil leaves at the end. While cooking vegetable mix, spread butter and garlic on one side of cut bread. Toast by laying bread face down on hot griddle or pan. Top bread with parmesan to taste. Spread pesto on toasted bread. Set toast on plate, shingled. Place sautéed vegetable mix on top of toast. Fry one egg sunny-side-up. Add a drizzle of oil and ½ to 1 ounce of butter in a warm, small non-stick pan, just enough to coat bottom of pan. Gently break one egg over pan, drop in egg, let whites cook through to edges. Use an egg ring if you have one. Immediately lower heat and cook until whites are firm and yolks are thick but not firm. Place fried egg on top of vegetables. Add basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired. Egg becomes a dip for the bread.

Makes 1 serving

Chorizo Frittata
6 eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
½ pound chorizo
2 red onions (for confit)
3 blood oranges (squeeze for ½ cup juice)
¼ cup cilantro
¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
1 cup Mexican crema (such as LaLa)
1 cup grated artisanal pepper jack cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1 cast-iron skillet (a 10-inch should be used for 12 eggs, so a smaller skillet is best with this recipe)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Par-cook chorizo. Whisk eggs and heavy cream together in bowl. Season egg mix with salt and pepper. Prepare blood orange crema by stirring together juice from blood oranges, Mexican crema, cilantro, and finely chopped green onions in bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Make red onion confit (confit in this sense means slow-cooked in fat or oil at low temp). Sauté onions with small amount of oil in pan until onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add butter and wine. Reduce heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until onions are at marmalade consistency. Stir in a few tablespoons of confit to egg/cream mixture. Reserve remainder to dress cooked frittata. Place chorizo, egg/cream mixture, and red onion confit in skillet. Stir in grated pepper jack cheese. (Additional cheese can also be sprinkled on top toward end of baking.) Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size and thickness. Check on dish about 5 minutes before it’s finished, being careful not to overcook. If top is golden, then interior is overcooked (only golden if cheese is sprinkled on top). Frittata consistency needs to be custardy, not spongy. Top frittata with onion confit. Drizzle blood orange crema over dish.

Makes 6 servings

Meet the Cook: Scott Buchanan of Yellow City Street Food

Scott Buchanan isn’t a formally trained chef, but you wouldn’t know it unless he tells you. He’s an encyclopedia of kitchen knowledge, peppering his conversations with French cooking terminology and references to culinary techniques like the judge of a TV cooking competition. His educational secret? He’s worked everywhere. “I started as a line cook at Harrigan’s back in the day,” he says. That was 1997, before Harrigan’s shuttered in 2003.

He followed that up with several years in Austin, where he “bounced around some kitchens,” including a stint at the swanky Sullivan’s Steakhouse. He returned to Amarillo in 2007 to manage the kitchen at Basil Doc’s (eventually renamed 575 Pizzeria), rewrite the menu as the chef at Crush Wine Bar & Deli, and then serve as chef at Amarillo’s notorious Sava “before it imploded,” he says with a laugh.

“I didn’t really know where I was going,” Buchanan says. “But I decided I didn’t want to work for anyone anymore.” He and his fiancé, Rin Roberts, considered the idea of launching a food truck. Scott had grown to appreciate that culture in Austin, but Amarillo’s rigid food-truck regulations “took the fun out of it,” he says. They came up with the idea of selling street-style food out of a fixed location, located space in a small hut at 10th and Madison via Craigslist, and opened Yellow City Street Food in April 2013.

“We thought it would be just our friends coming to eat at first,” he remembers. “But the response has been overwhelming.” Buchanan changes the menu almost daily depending on whatever has captured his interest, from Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches to pork belly risotto and vegetarian kale tacos. Roberts communicates the daily specials and menu over social media, and they often sell out. “We serve a broad spectrum, but there are some super-passionate people who follow us on Facebook or Instagram. If we’re catering something, they’ll come to the event just to eat our food.”

After being engaged for several years, Buchanan and Roberts are marrying in April, soon after this issue comes out with his suggestions for an egg-based Easter brunch. “That’s two big things happening at the same time,” he says. His unique Diabolito Eggs tempt taste buds with a less aggressive flavor. “It’s what you know as a deviled egg but the flavors are 10 times more luxurious,” he says. Buchanan believes presentation is almost as important as taste, and hopes the whimsical drooping egg with his breakfast bruschetta reminds people of “a Salvador Dalí clock.”

-- the AM Team

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